Baker Mayfield on Mike Gundy’s Mullet: ‘Ferocious … It’s Very Dirty’

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. In the most important Bedlam news of the week: Baker Mayfield respects the mullet game of head coach Mike Gundy. Here’s what he told the Oklahoman this week.“It’s ferocious,” told the Oklahoman. “It’s very dirty. You’ve got to respect that he’s rocking it. I heard from our coach (Cale) Gundy that he kind of did it and stuck with it because one of his kids said it was awful. You’ve got to respect that he’s just doing it out of spite.”Haha, yes you do. And that’s exactly what Gundy is doing.“I said, ‘[to son Gage] If you keep bothering me, I’m not going to cut it.’ So, I let it go now for a couple months,” Gundy said this summer. “He wears on me every day. So now I’m kind of enjoying it.”screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-4-01-03-pm screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-4-01-58-pm“It’s not really curly, but it’s a mullet now,” said Gundy on Monday. “It’s definitely hit the mullet stage. At some point I’m going to have to decide what to do with it.”Mayfield would know a dirty look if he saw it, too, as he and Trevor Knight rocked the most disgusting facial history in the history of the Big 12 last year in Stillwater.[USATSI][USATSI]It’s a look Mayfield said will re-emerge this year when Knight and Thomas attend the game.Baker Mayfield says Trevor Knight and Cody Thomas will be at Bedlam with Fu Manchu mustaches.— Brady Vardeman (@BradyVardeman) November 21, 2016Mayfield’s head coach agrees. The mullet is in.last_img read more

Big 12 Bowl Schedule Set for 2017-18

first_imgShout to Berry Tramel for catching this one, but the Big 12’s 2017-18 bowl schedule is set so we know when OSU could play this postseason. Let’s take a look at the New Year’s Day 6 first.Because the Sugar Bowl is a semifinal game this year, there will not be a Big 12-specific tie in. Last time this happened, TCU went to the Peach Bowl and Baylor went to the Cotton Bowl. The Big 12 is guaranteed at least one NYD6 game.I could envision a scenario in which, say, OU gets into the Sugar as a playoff representative and Oklahoma State goes to the Cotton against a Big 10 team. Maybe Michigan? Rose Bowl (semifinal) — Monday, January 1 at 4 p.m.Sugar Bowl (semifinal) — Monday, January 1 at 7:45 p.m.Peach Bowl — Monday, January 1 at 11:30 a.m.The Fiesta Bowl — Saturday, December 30 at 3 p.m.The Orange Bowl — Saturday, December 30 at 7 p.m.Cotton Bowl — Friday, December 29 at 7:30 p.m.Here are the other Big 12-affiliated bowls.Alamo Bowl — Thursday, December 28 at 8 p.m. (Pac-12)Camping World Bowl — Thursday, December 28 at 4:15 p.m. (ACC)Texas Bowl — Wednesday, December 27 at 8 p.m. (SEC)Liberty Bowl — Saturday, December 30 at 11:30 a.m. (SEC)Cactus Bowl — Tuesday, December 26 (Pac 12)Heart of Dallas Bowl — Tuesday, December 26 (CUSA)Hopefully — hopefully — Oklahoma State isn’t worried about anything less than an Alamo Bowl this season, but there you go. There they all are. The fun part about all of this is that OSU will likely already have most of its 2018 class of recruits locked up (because of the early signing period) so coaches, players and fans can just relax and enjoy the festivities. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Defensive Tackle, Cowboy Back Highlight Biggest Needs of the 2018 Recruiting Class

first_imgKanion WilliamsSafetyDallas, TX3 stars Jonathan SheperdWide ReceiverKilgore, TX3 stars Jaelyn NolanCornerbackBrownfield, TX3 stars C.J. MooreWide ReceiverTulsa, OK4 stars Hunter WoodardOffensive TackleTuscola, IL3 stars Jahmyl JeterRunning BackSan Antonio, TX3 stars Gabe LemonsCornerbackCoppell, TX2 stars Jacob FarrellOffensive TackleSulphur, OK3 stars Bryce BrayOffensive GuardBixby, OK3 stars Kolby PeelLinebackerCollege Station, TX3 stars Jarrick BernardSafetyShreveport, LA3 stars Jayveon CardwellCornerbackCibolo, TX3 starscenter_img Tyler LacyDefensive EndSachse, TX3 stars NamePositionHome TownRating (247) While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Blake BarronLinebackerRockwall, TX3 stars Hunter AnthonyOffensive TackleTuttle, OK3 stars AdChoices广告The coaching staff has done a good job of filling up the crop of defensive backs. There are now six players in the class expected to play either safety or corner. With six senior defensive backs (four safeties, two cornerbacks) on the roster currently, getting talented youth into the program now is vital to the position’s stability.After not bringing in a single high school offensive lineman in last year’s class, new offensive coordinator Josh Henson did some real work, getting verbal commitments from five recruits. This was big, especially considering the Cowboys have five senior linemen on the roster right now and five juniors. That’s half of the linemen on campus.Barring a decommitment, OSU is likely done with quarterback and running back with Spencer Sanders and Jahmyl Jeter in the mix. The roster is loaded with youth at both positions with four freshman/sophomore quarterbacks and five freshman/sophomore running backs.The staff could look to add another wide receiver, but I don’t think it’s a top priority. They have 15 on campus this season. Yes, four are seniors, but with the depth of talent they can sustain only bringing on two this year and focusing on the position more in the 2019 class. It’s not that adding a third receiver to this class would be a bad thing, there are just other areas with more demanding needs.That brings us to which positions OSU will likely focus their efforts with the remaining seven scholarships. I believe there are four positions the Cowboys will be looking to bring in a player.Defensive EndThe Cowboys currently have nine defensive ends on the roster. Two of those are seniors and five are juniors. With only one current DE commit in the 2018 class in Tyler Lacy, I expect OSU to push hard to land at least one more.Cowboy Back/Tight EndThere are nine cowboy back/tight ends on the roster right now. While OSU will only graduate one at the end of the season, five on the roster are juniors this year. I expect they would like to add at least one player to the class who can fit the OSU version of the tight end, especially with the decommitment of Nic McTear.Defensive TackleOSU has seven on the roster, but two are seniors and one is a junior. OSU is going to need to add at least one player in this class. If they can’t nab a high school player they like, look for coaches to target a junior college player or a graduate transfer who can immediately come in and contribute.LinebackerThe Cowboys have 12 on campus, but three are seniors and three more are juniors. As of now, OSU has two linebacker commits in Blake Barron and Kolby Peel. I expect they will want to land another player for this position.There’s no reason to believe OSU won’t try to use all seven remaining scholarships, especially if they get commitments from some quality recruits. However, with OSU’s history of bringing in a graduate transfer or two each year, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the coach staff hang on to a couple of scholarships just in case. Jason TaylorSafetyOklahoma City, OK3 stars Thanks to two commitments last week, Oklahoma State now has only has a maximum of seven available scholarships remaining for its 2018 recruiting class. While it’s possible they could use them all, I expect them to focus on filling only four to five of them before National Signing Day.With those scholarships, there are some specific positions Oklahoma State is going to be targeting, based on what they already have in the 2018 class and the number of upperclassmen (juniors and seniors) currently on the roster.First, let’s take a look at OSU’s 2018 class so far. Tyrese WilliamsOffensive CenterHouston, TX3 stars Sanders, SpencerQuarterbackDenton, TX4 starslast_img read more

100 Days of Summer: Get to Know No. 5 Justice Hill

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. He doesn’t require an introduction as much as he’s earned a celebration. Personally, I’m celebrating the fact that in five days we can stop pining for football — and actually start enjoying football.Five. Days.How he got to OSULast year’s Freshman All-American Justice Hill received four total scholarship offers. Fortunately, he only needed one. The Oklahoma Class 6A-II Offensive Player of the Year from Booker T. Washington (Tulsa) has been an OSU fan for some time. When the Cowboys came calling, he didn’t hesitate and committed quickly.AdChoices广告What he’s done in StillwaterLet’s take stock. Hill broke both freshman rushing records at Oklahoma State — Mike Hamilton’s freshman record of 961 yards and Thurman Thomas’ true freshman record of 843 yards.With 1,142 yards, he led all FBS freshmen in rushing yards in 2016 while not securing a starting role until Week 4. And he was the first 1,000-yard rusher at OSU since Joseph Randle in 2012.Role in 2017RB1.If he can beat the Cowboys’ all-time leading rusher (Thurman Thomas) in year-one yardage, what are his sights set on this season? Hill’s also put on a sophomore 20 and even did his best to upstage his teammates and head coach attending Big 12 Media Days when he squatted 565 pounds that same morning.He’s better at pass protection. He’s better at catching. He’s just better. And that’s a scary thought for the Big 12’s linebackers.Noteworthy stats and highlightsHill scored six rushing touchdowns as a true freshman and because I like you guys I’m going to show you every. single. one.Here we go. The first was against Baylor in the first play following Baylor’s punt return snafu that gave OSU the ball at the Bears’ 5-yard line.Here’s No. 2, that great run after contact against UT.And Iowa State.Against the Jayhawks.No. 5 against Texas Tech.And the only way to end this post.last_img read more

Film Study: Montgomery Brings Baylor-Style Offense to Tulsa

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. The Oklahoma State Cowboys will face a familiar style of offense when they play the Tulsa Golden Hurricane on Thursday night. Phillip Montgomery, who was a former offensive coordinator under Art Briles, has taken the philosophy he learned at Baylor and has brought it to Tulsa. This “Veer n’ Shoot” offense, which refers to Briles’ influences when he first started using this philosophy in Texas high school football, puts a focus on a power running game and a simple-yet-efficient deep passing game. In this year’s first film study, we’ll take a basic look at Tulsa’s offensive philosophy.Montgomery’s offense effectiveness lies in its simplicity; it’s all about where the number advantage is. Tulsa will spread teams out and attack wherever they have the advantage in numbers. The uniquely wide splits make advantages more apparent, which in turn creates easier reads for the quarterback.AdChoices广告The spacing effectively separates the field into three sections. If Tulsa holds a numbers advantage in one of the three sections, they will attack it specifically. Are there not enough defenders in the box to cover the run? They’ll run the ball. Are there more receivers split out wide than cornerbacks, or is your secondary playing off? They’ll attack you with screens and attached route concepts. Do you go one-high and press the receivers? They’ll test your pass coverage with a deep route tag or passing concept. The beauty of the system is that they are always prepared to do all these things with RPOs (run-pass options).Here’s an example of a standard Tulsa play; each third of the field has a different action — one third with a bubble screen, one with a split zone and one with an isolated route. The quarterback can see if the defense lacks the numbers to properly defend in one area, and that determines where the ball is going.This allows them to always have the advantage in numbers, whether on the ground:Or on the perimeter:The Golden Hurricane do a good job capitalizing on defenses who commit to the run before the snap, often using concepts that feature only one route.They can also tag a number of routes on the single-receiver side to beat man coverage:And they have a handful of concepts that they’ll check to against one-high looks:Tulsa is one of the last teams to run Art Briles’ offense in its true form, although teams across college football have stolen concepts from it (including OSU). The Cowboys’ pass defense has recently struggled against this style of offense. Last year, the Cowboys gave up over 380 yards through the air against Baylor in a 35-24 loss. In 2015, the Cowboys gave up almost 400 yards through the air, even letting receiver and makeshift quarterback Chris Johnson throw for over 130 yards and two touchdowns. Although Tulsa runs the same offense, the Hurricane’s talent is inferior to the aforementioned Baylor teams from 2016 and 2015. This difference is compounded with the fact that Tulsa will have to replace both its starting quarterback and running back. Still, due to the nature of the offense and OSU’s relative inexperience at cornerback, TU will be an excellent early test for the Cowboy secondary.How do you think OSU’s defense will perform against Tulsa? Leave your opinions below in the comments!last_img read more

Can leads Liverpool charge in West Ham rout

first_imgLiverpool 4 West Ham 1: Salah nets again as Reds climb to second Russell Greaves Last updated 1 year ago 00:50 25/2/2018 MohamedSalahCropped Getty Images With their immediate Champions League qualification rivals in action on Sunday, Liverpool seized the moment by beating West Ham. Liverpool won an entertaining contest at Anfield to move up to second in the Premier League with a 4-1 victory over West Ham on Saturday.Both sides struck the woodwork in the opening 15 minutes before Emre Can broke the deadlock with a close-range header, chalking up Liverpool’s 100th goal of the season in all competitions. Jurgen Klopp’s side were two to the good early in the second half, Mohamed Salah’s cool finish taking his tally for the season to 31. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp With David Moyes having never won a game as a manager at Anfield, all the signs pointed towards the contest being over and that seemed to be all but confirmed when Roberto Firmino netted before the hour mark. The Londoners showed some resolve and substitute Michail Antonio cut the deficit soon after coming off the bench, only for Sadio Mane to have the final say.Liverpool will watch with interest when fellow top-four hopefuls Manchester United and Chelsea meet on Sunday, with Tottenham also in action. Goal number 31! pic.twitter.com/QthWOw7C6p— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 24, 2018The home side – back in top-flight action for the first time in almost a fortnight – threatened to take an early lead when Firmino pulled the ball back for Salah, whose low strike was tipped onto the post by an alert Adrian. West Ham, for whom Patrice Evra made his debut, were then caught out by some clever movement from the Egypt international, whose touch was surprisingly found wanting as he sought to get the ball under his spell inside the area. But it was not all one-way traffic and Loris Karius was forced into an excellent fingertip save, deflecting Marko Arnautovic’s attempted lob onto the crossbar. However, the home side – 5-0 winners over Porto in the Champions League last time out – made the breakthrough in the 29th minute when, following a flurry of corners, Can nodded Salah’s delivery past Adrian, who remained rooted to his line. goals for the season. pic.twitter.com/lgVEyw8pVM— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 24, 2018Salah headed high and wide on the end of an excellent Andrew Robertson cross, with Klopp’s men probing for a second.Karius continued to get the better of his personal duel with Arnautovic, whose dipping strike from long distance was pushed over the top. Liverpool emerged for the second half in determined mood and doubled their advantage when Salah stroked past Adrian following a surging run from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. A moment of madness from Adrian, who raced off his line and failed to clear the ball, allowed Firmino to slot in the third as Liverpool further asserted their dominance. Moyes was finally given some cause for cheer when Antonio guided a measured finish into the bottom-left corner within a minute of replacing Manuel Lanzini. However, after Mane had spurned one golden opportunity to get in on the goalscoring action when he shot against the post, the Senegalese rounded off a fine afternoon for Liverpool by diverting Robertson’s square pass into the net 13 minutes from time. Key Opta stats:- Liverpool have scored 4+ goals in three consecutive Premier League games versus a single opponent for the first time since doing so against Norwich between 2012-13.- David Moyes has never won against Liverpool at Anfield in all competitions as a manager (D7 L8), failing to win with Everton, Man Utd, Sunderland and now West Ham.- Mohamed Salah has been directly involved in 31 Premier League goals this season (23 goals, 8 assists), more than any other player.- Salah has scored 20 goals with his left foot in the Premier League this season, the most by a player in a single season in the competition’s history.- Roberto Firmino has been directly involved in 19 Premier League goals this season (13 goals, 6 assists) – his best return in a single campaign in the competition.- Liverpool (103) are the second Premier League team to score 100+ goals in all competitions this season after Manchester City (111). read morelast_img read more

Report: Inter 2 Benevento 0

first_imgInter 2 Benevento 0: Nerazzurri pick up much-needed win at San Siro Rob Lancaster Last updated 1 year ago 05:52 25/2/2018 Milan Skriniar_cropped Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images Benevento are still searching for their first away point in Serie A after conceding twice after the break at the San Siro Second-half goals from Milan Skriniar and Andrea Ranocchia secured Inter a much-needed 2-0 triumph over basement boys Benevento on Saturday.The Nerazzurri’s stuttering season appeared set to plumb new depths against travel-sick opponents until they scored twice in the space of three minutes.Skriniar lifted the mood inside a toxic San Siro when he caught Benevento sleeping at a corner, the defender running on to a bouncing ball to nod home. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Ranocchia followed his fellow centre-back’s lead soon after, meeting Joao Cancelo’s inviting free-kick with a firm header that flashed into the bottom right corner of goalkeeper Christian Puggioni’s net.Serie A’s bottom club had proved a major stumbling block until the quickfire double, and even had a stong shout for a penalty at 0-0, Danilo Cataldi denied when appearing to tumble over Ranocchia’s outstretched leg.However, the visitors finished the game with 10 men, Nicolas Viola sent off after receiving two late bookings, as Inter picked up a win that lifts them up to third in the table.4 – No defender has scored more goals than Milan Skriniar in Serie A this season (four goals). Guarantee. #InterBenevento — OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) February 24, 2018 For Inter, it’s all about points, not performances. When they won the reverse fixture last October thanks to a brace from Marcelo Brozovic, they were unbeaten in seven games and appeared set to challenge for the Scudetto.Instead, a run of just one win in their last 10 league outings either side of the winter break has abruptly ended any title talk and instead left them in a fight to finish in the top four.Having seen his side struggle in a 2-0 loss at Genoa, Spalletti recalled Ivan Perisic and handed Rafinha his first start since joining from Barcelona, though the returning Mauro Icardi was only deemed fit enough for a place on the bench.The changes failed to inspire the hosts in the first half, though, and it was Benevento who had the best opportunity to score before the break.Massimo Coda’s fierce drive on the counter forced Samir Handanovic into a smart save and immediately triggered a chorus of jeers from a far-from-happy Inter faithful.At the other end, Gaetano Letizia’s well-timed tackle stopped Antonio Candreva from calling Puggioni into action, the forward seeing the ball taken off his left foot just as he was set to pull the trigger.Matias Vecino finally managed Inter’s first on-target attempt in the 54th minute, unleashing a 25-yard shot that Puggioni punched over for a corner in rather unorthodox fashion.Cataldi was outraged when the officials failed to point to the spot after his clash with the clumsy Ranocchia, who quickly made an impact in the opposite box to put the game beyond Benevento.By that stage Skriniar had finally broken the deadlock, heading home his fourth goal of the season via a deflection off the underside of the crossbar.Benevento’s misery was complete with the dismissal of Viola, leaving them still without an away point in Serie A. While they’re stuck at the bottom, things might finally be looking up for Inter.| FT Inter 2-0 BeneventoHeaders from #Skriniar and @23_Frog see Inter get back to winning! #FORZAINTER   pic.twitter.com/XZlscYGk1c — Inter (@Inter_en) February 24, 2018 Key Opta stats:- Prior to today, the last Inter home Serie A game without shots on target in the first half was back in September 2016 (v Juventus).- The first shot on target for Inter came in the 54th minute.- Inter have won their last two home league games after three draws and a defeat.- Inter have scored the most headed goals in Serie A this season (11) – Benevento have conceded the most (12). read morelast_img read more

Ronaldo reaches 300 Liga goals faster than Messi

first_imgReal Madrid Madrid star Ronaldo reaches 300 Liga goals – in fewer matches than Messi Goal Last updated 1 year ago 04:34 4/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(21) Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid 300th La Liga goal Getty Real Madrid Primera División Real Madrid v Getafe Getafe The Merengue legend has scored at a rate of more than a goal a game since arriving in 2009 and now has a triple century in Spain’s top flight Cristiano Ronaldo set new La Liga history on Saturday as he became only the second player to score 300 goals in the competition. The Real Madrid star was teed up on the stroke of half time by Karim Benzema to put his side 2-0 up against Getafe at the Santiago Bernabeu. That goal means he has now completed his triple century in the Spanish top flight, the second man to do so after Lionel Messi, and in record time.  Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp 300 – Cristiano Ronaldo has become the second player to score 300 goals in La Liga after Lionel Messi (372). Myth. pic.twitter.com/b99Pdsg1Xg — OptaJose (@OptaJose) 3 de marzo de 2018 While Messi needed 334 games to reach the milestone with Barcelona, Ronaldo has accomplished the feat in just 286 outings. The Portugal striker has scored at a rate of more than a goal a game since joining Madrid in 2009, a ratio unprecedented in the history of Europe’s top leagues. With 372 Liga goals and counting, however, the Argentine still holds a healthy lead in the overall scoring charts.Getafe have long been one of Ronaldo’s favourite opponents in the Blanco shirt. The fellow Madrid side have now conceded 22 goals against the current Ballon d’Or holder, with only Sevilla, who have fallen to him 25 times, faring worse.Ronaldo has netted in 12 of his 15 meetings with Getafe, scoring a hat trick on four occasions.last_img read more

Infantino: Italy missing World Cup a beautiful blow

first_imgWorld Cup Italy missing World Cup a ‘beautiful blow’, says FIFA president Infantino Chris Burton Last updated 1 year ago 01:26 7/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Gianluigi Buffon Italy Sweden Marco Luzzani World Cup Italy Serie A The Azzurri suffered a shock play-off defeat to Sweden and will not be in Russia this summer, but they have been urged to take positives from that FIFA president Gianni Infantino has branded Italy’s failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup as “a beautiful blow”.The Azzurri will be notable absentees in Russia this summer after suffering a shock play-off defeat to Sweden.The four-time champions are set to miss out on a global showpiece for the first time in 60 years, with the 1958 finals in Sweden representing the last time they came up short. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp A thorough investigation in what went wrong has already been opened in Italian football, and Infantino believes that could be considered a good thing as a fallen giant seeks to rebuild.He told Sport Mediaset: “A World Cup without Italy? The fact that Italy didn’t qualify for the World Cup was a beautiful blow for all of Italian football.“They must work hard and find the strengths and resources needed to start over. In Italy, there’s passion, talent, preparation and structure, so everyone must start by putting aside their own interests and focus on those of Italian football in order to re-establish its tradition.“The Azzurri shirt moves not only Italians but also football in general. That jersey deserves to remain one of the best.“Now they have competent people working and if they need FIFA, we’re here to help. It’s important for the world of football that Italy are strong.”Italy World Cup beautiful blow Gianni InfantinoWhile Italy will have to watch on from afar this summer, Infantino is confident that an eagerly anticipated event in Russia will provide plenty of thrills and spills.He added: “It’ll be an absolutely spectacular World Cup, the most beautiful in history.“I’ve been to Russia a lot lately and realised the Russian people want to show that theirs is a country that knows how to welcome fans from all over the world.“One and a half million people will arrive: they’ll be able to do so without a visa, there will be free transport in the host cities and free access to museums thanks to the match tickets.“The stadiums are beautiful and for the whole country, it’ll be a matter of national pride, showing that they can organise a beautiful competition.“It’ll be a beautiful and exciting party and we want people to come to Russia.”last_img read more

PSG ‘unlucky’ with Champions League exit – Keane

first_imgPSG PSG ‘unlucky’ with Champions League exit – Keane Robin Bairner 22:20 8/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Edinson Cavani Kylian Mbappe PSG Real Madrid Champions League PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU PSG UEFA Champions League PSG v Real Madrid Real Madrid The former Man Utd man urged the Ligue 1 side’s detractors to ‘give them a break’ following their exit from Europe Roy Keane has said that Paris Saint-Germain can consider themselves “unlucky” to have been knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid.The Ligue 1 leaders needed a big performance on Tuesday to overturn a 3-1 first-leg deficit but never threatened to stretch the two-time defending champions and ultimately lost 2-1 at Parc des Princes.While critics rounded on the lacklustre nature of PSG’s exit, Keane unexpectedly jumped to their defence. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp “I think PSG have been a bit unlucky the last few years. I really do,” he told ITV. “They topped their group this year and who do they get? Real Madrid.“They were unlucky in the first leg, they had a mad five minutes. Neymar’s missing, they have a man sent-off [in the second leg]. You need bits of luck in this competition. I wouldn’t be too critical of PSG.”Keane, who won the Champions League in 1998-99 with Manchester United, also defended the measured approach of Emery’s side.“This seems to be the new buzz word about having a go at teams. It’s very difficult to have a go when you’re up against real quality players and you can’t get the ball back. It’s Real Madrid, the champions of Europe – give them a break,” the former Manchester United man said.PSG have exited the Champions League at the last-16 stage in each of the last two years, a statistic that is expected to cost head coach Unai Emery his job in the summer.last_img read more